THEY may have only been built little more than 30 years ago – but two schools are now celebrating being ranked among the best historical buildings in the country.
Bosmere Junior School, in Havant, and nearby Springwood Junior School, in Waterlooville, have all been awarded Grade II-listed status by the government on the advice of Historic England.
The ranking means the school buildings are of the same architectural and historical significance to the nation as other Hampshire landmarks such as the Hurst Point Lighthouse in the New Forest, and the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton.
The decision was seen as a way to preserve the school’s distinctive 1980s architecture for future generations and celebrate the best of Britain’s post-war education sites.
Hampshire County Council’s education boss, Councillor Peter Edgar, has welcomed the unusual move.
He said: ‘It may surprise some that schools built as recently as the 1980s are of such historical importance, but it highlights the talent and innovation of our county council architects at the time, to provide the very best learning environments for our children – a fine tradition that continues today.
‘There is no doubt that some of the Hampshire schools that we are building today could also be judged as historically important, in 30 years time.’
Each of the schools submitted their requests to Historic England to become Grade II-listed.
These were then put forward as recommendations to, and approved, by the Secretary of State for the Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
Bosmere, which was built between 1982 and 1983, was praised for its rich interior that had a ‘warm, earthy palette of brick, tile and timber in a bright red steel framework’.
Each of the classrooms of the South Street institutions have access to the school’s secluded leafy area.
Headteacher Kathryn Robinson was delighted by the news. She said: ‘We’re extremely proud of our school and really happy to have been given Grade II-listed status.
‘It’s a very unusual school building. It’s really nice to know Bosmere Junior School is going to go down in history.’
Springwood Junior School, built in 1982, is one of the county’s ‘barn-like’ schools.
It was praised for its ‘free-flowing sequence of communal spaces at its centre’ and its ‘striking and dramatic interior’.
Fleet Infant School, in Fleet, was also given Grade II status by Historic England.